Weekly Wrap Up (Week of June 18th-June 24th)

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This past week I’ve been busy brainstorming like made for new bath and body recipes and I’m so excited to get started on my new to do list! Some of the projects I plan to share will also be a part of what I’ve coined my Craft & Cocktail Nights that I’ll be having about every other week with my friends. The first one is tonight and we’ll be making DIY nail polishes using a suspension nail polish base, micas and glitters.

Painting wooden birdhouses!

In actuality, since I moved back to Roanoke and am once again in close proximity of some of my favorite and true blue friends, I kind of have a craft & cocktail night anyway about once a week with someone near and dear.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

Those projects, however, are typically one on one on a night there are no kids and my husband has his weekly band practice. I often use those nights for experimenting like mad. Sometimes those creations make it to the blog. Other times they don’t.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

This past Thursday my husband’s band, Virginia Electric, actually had a gig so we skipped the weekly craft shindig for music. I headed out to hear my husband’s band play and my friend Bambi hit a local venue to hear her friend’s band. The Thursday before however, we tried two new fab red wines and painted birdhouses.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

It was ridiculously enjoyable. We did get a little crazy though when I thought it’d be a marvelous idea to paint the kitchen tabletop. (If you follow me on instagram it’s likely you’ve already seen that disaster.)

Craft & Cocktail Night.

We sort of got WAY into it and the whole incident became a “blow off steam/sensory play” experience. It was quite fun and I recommend everyone do it at least once in their lives – but definitely do it outside.

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The tabletop ended up looking like a smear of mud so in the end, I cleaned off the tabletop – leaving only a few streaks of glitter behind that didn’t come off – and slaved a bit over the kitchen clean up. We had started by splattering paint and squirting it onto the table so by the end of the night there was paint on the floor and the walls and randomly in the strangest of places.

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My husband was rightfully a bit miffed. It was quite the disaster to walk in on. And he walked in as I was attempting to mop the kitchen floor – a feat that only made the floor look worse. Think a film of a mud like colored substance everywhere the mop had been. So I got down and dirty with towels and kitchen cleaner and pretty much scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees along with the table, chairs, walls and even the sides of the cabinets. Thus, should you ever repeat this exercise in complete lack of self control, I highly recommend you take it outside.

The next day there were muddy paint footprints I scrubbed off the wood floor – along with Bambi who had her own footprints she took home with her.

Still, there were and are no regrets because it was the most amazing time! And luckily, having spent quite a few years raising two daughters, my husband was a lot more understanding than I would have been had I walked in on the same disastrous aftermath.

If you want to paint your own birdhouses, this is actually a great project for the family if you skip the cocktail part of it. You can find the birdhouses online at Target.com here. (I hadn’t seen these at my local Target, but they also tend to sell out of crafty supplies and materials there rather quickly.)

Some other wonderful things I’ve enjoyed this week include this beautiful handmade soap from Lavish Clean Intentions. It’s scented with spearmint and eucalyptus and is one of my favorite handmade soaps shared using the hashtag #soapdelishowoff on instagram this week.

I’ve also found a new favorite white wine –  Three Thieves 2015 Pinot Grigio. It’s a steal at $10 a bottle and of course, there’s an additional dollar off per bottle when I buy six at Kroger!

As there’s always a question about using preservatives in homemade skin care products, a great article I recently rediscovered and pinned to my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest board is this one from Soap Queen blog. It will help you answer the question as to whether or not your homemade product needs a preservative. And if so, what is the best preservative to use for your product type.

These DIY Pork Dumplings from HelloFresh are AMAZING!

I’m also in love with the Pork Dumplings Recipe from HelloFresh. This is the second time I’ve ordered this meal with my box as it’s so amazing! I’m cooking this for dinner tonight pre-party. If you’re not a HelloFresh subscriber you can sign up here and get $40 off your first order.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend and that you all have a super creative inspiring week next week! See you then!

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DIY Ideas for Homemade Soap Labels

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

DIY Ideas for Homemade Soap LabelsOne of the most difficult things for me about soapmaking isn’t coming up with new recipes or ideas, it’s coming up with a design for the actual labels that go on the resulting soaps. So I thought I’d share just a few ideas for inspiration to help you with your own homemade soap labels whether you’re crafting handmade soaps to sell or to give as handmade gifts.

I created the side wrap labels for my handmade activated charcoal facial soap (pictured above) in Open Office, which is a free open source program similar to Word. First, I measured out my soap bar to figure out what size my labels needed to be then created two columns with these size guidelines in Open Office. (Don’t forget to create padding between the two columns to compensate for the width of your soap.) In the left column I typed out the ingredient list, weight and company information. I then copied and pasted this information down the entire left side of the column. Then, in the right hand column I typed in the soap name using a decorative font.

Then I placed a frame in center of the name and left it blank so I could adhere a “Handmade with Love” sticker inside the empty frame once printed. I purchased these particular stickers from Cute Tape, however you can create your own Kraft stickers and labels with Kraft sticker paper from World Label. Alternately, you could also insert a picture or drawing here in lieu of a frame.

Also, if you are creating frame around the label with an existing frame or picture, you will need to wrap the frame in the background and then arrange it by sending it to the back. Once I had my design in place for the front side of the label, I then copied and pasted the soap name and frame down the entire right side of the column so that it lined up with the ingredient list on the left. I then printed them onto a full page white sticker sheet.

Too much of a challenge? You can download the soap labels like the ones pictured above here, then use a PDF converter to edit the text with your own information.

Printable Mountain Range Soap LabelUsing the same basic concept I also created this Mountain Man Detox Soap Label using my own drawing I scanned into the computer in place of the frame.

Creating Custom Soap Labels

Like the previous soap label, the ingredients, weight and business info wrap around onto the back of the soap so just the soap name and image appear on the front. Alternately, you could also place the company name on the front above the picture with the type of soap below the picture. You can use a black and white image and either leave it black and white or color it in with markers by hand for a more homemade look. Or you can simply use a color image and print the labels out in color. You can download my Mountain Range Soap Labels in black and white here. Or download in color here. You will have to use a PDF converter to edit and customize the labels.

Ideas for Wrapping and Labeling Homemade Soaps - Cigar Band Soap Label

Another simple way to label your soaps is with a cigar band label. These labels can be wide or thin. And as the only labeling requirement for true soap (created from primarily fats and an alkali) is the weight, you can make these a minimalist as you like. Rather than make a perfectly straight rectangle shaped cigar label for my Handmade Summer Festival Soap, I included some clip art I purchased for this soap label to give it some shape and dress it up a bit.

Handmade Soap Packaging Idea - Homemade Soap Wrapped in Kraft Paper with a Sticker Cigar Band Soap LabelYou can use images in any number of ways on these cigar band labels. However, the smaller your label, the small and simpler the image for your soap label should be. Here, I wrapped the soap first in Kraft paper and then applied a cigar band soap label that was printed onto sticker paper.

Handmade Cork Wrapped Soaps from Bodhi Basics - Homemade Soap Labeling and Packaging IdeaFor more ideas, I suggest window shopping! There are so many amazing handmade soap artisans online, that’s it’s easy to browse products from other companies to help inspire your next soap label or packaging design! For example, Bodhi Basics (pictured above) wraps her lovely natural, organic soaps with paper cigar band labels printed on Kraft paper with a piece of cork tucked inside.

Black Licorice Halloween Soap from Daily ReposeWhile Daily Repose dresses up her simple Kraft paper labels from her handmade soap line with a lacy paper doily edge and ribbon. I also love how she decorated her seasonal soaps for Halloween with little accents like the skull featured on this black licorice scented soap (above.)

Sandalwood and Vanilla Scented Soap from Sunshine GardenSunshine Garden wraps her soaps in what appears to be waxed paper or parchment. Then wraps with a cigar band label made from decorative papers. A round sticker label with her company name, fragrance and weight.

What are some of your favorite ways to wrap your own homemade soaps whether to sell or to gift?

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Hand Carved Stamp DIY Inspiration

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DIY Hand Carved Stamps - How to Make Handmade Stamps

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making my own hand carved stamps for some time. But it seems like every time I would end up at the craft store, they never had what I was looking for. After running across vitamini handmade’s DIY Hand Carved Stamp Tutorial, however, my excitement to actually try this project was revived. I found her own hand carved stamps, pictured above, very inspirational. Her etsy shop with all of the mini cooper gifts got me doubly inspired to create something new and fun with my own handmade shop. So not only did I buy the tools to get me started on making my own stamps – Speedball now sells a Speedy Carve Stamp Making Kit with everything you need to get started – but I also bought some new packaging materials for my own handmade soaps to use my stamps on. Think Glassine Wax Paper Bags, StazOn Multi-Surface Inkpad – which adheres to non-porous surfaces like glass, metal, shrink plastic, cellophane, aluminum foil, leather and acrylic – handmade labels and lots of Baker’s Twine.

It’d been so long since I’d bought an actual, physical book, that I also purchased Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps for more inspiration and coffee table eye candy. Once I churn out a successful stamp or two, I’ll be sure to share them here on my blog. I plan not only to use my handmade stamps on paper, but to stamp some of my soaps as well. If you recall, I used some of my hand carved wine cork stamps I made over the Christmas season to stamp my freshly unmolded cold process soaps with shimmering mica. I just loved the effect, so I’m hoping to come up with a stamp to use on my soaps as part of my branding.

Have you tried any new project lately? Feel free to share your latest diy blog post in the comments!

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My Top Ten Favorite DIY Craft Blogs

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If crafts, glitter and glue are part of your genetic makeup, then you’re probably just as in love with DIY as I am. Which means you’re always on the lookout for fantastic and inspirational DIY blogs. Well, I thought I’d take some of the legwork out of the equation and share a few of my favorite craft blogs with you. They’re sure to become some of your favorites as well.

DIY Craft Project - Fashion Stone Statement Rings via Alisa Burke - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
The blog: Alisa Burke / The project: Stone Statement Rings
Written by Alisa Burke, a freelance painter and mixed media artist, Alisa is always looking for new ways to break the rules and redefine art. She draws inspiration from street art, graffiti, art history and fashion and loves to recycle found items in her artwork. Her blog includes a vast array of craft tutorials, sketches family adventures, recipes, and fashion projects.

Homemade Cheesecake Recipe - Coffee and Cream Cheesecake Recipe via A Beautiful Mess - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
Written by Elsie and Emma, A Beautiful Mess is a lifestyle blog that focuses on simple ways to create a beautiful and inspired lifestyle. As believers in lifelong learning, Elsie and Emma share craft projects, recipes, fashion and decor ideas and DIYs on their blog daily to help make your life a little bit sweeter.


DIY Fashion Project - How to Turn a Dress Into a Blouse Tutorial via Bored & Crafty - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
Written by Meream, Bored & Crafty yields her love of fashion, fabrics and sewing. Meream has a degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines and her family includes four cats – Snow, Ghost, Egg, and Chino. While many of the DIY craft projects she posts on her blog include plushes, clothing and puffy cloud mobiles, she would love to learn woodworking. She is currently preparing to re-open her online shop.

DIY Craft Project - Travel Map Pin Board DIY via Ciera Design - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
The blog: Ciera Design / The project: Travel Map Pin Board DIY
Written by graphic designer, Ciera Holzenthal, Ciera Design is a lifestyle and design blog where Ciera shares her adventures as a freelance graphic designer as well as her many DIY projects, photography, home decor projects, arts and crafts, music, inspired living ideas, and all things graphic design.

DIY Craft Project - How to Handpaint Porcelain Dishes via Craft & Creativity - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
The blog: Craft & Creativity / The project: Painting Porcelain
Written by Helena of Vallentuna, Sweden, a self employed graphic designer of ten years,  Craft & Creativity contains an abundance of simple DIY craft projects designed around the home, living, fashion and family – many with a focus on recycling everyday items.

DIY Bath and Beauty Project - Essential Oil Solid Perfume DIY via Go Make Me - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
Written by Cate Holst of Sydney, Australia, Go Make Me features a glorious selection of DIY projects and recipes that Cate loves to make, bake and create. She has had three projects published in the Kids Crafternoon Book Series by Hardie Grant and been featured on the Huffington Post. All of her handmade projects and delicious recipes feature beautiful in-depth photos and instructions.

Homemade Macaroons Recipe via One Sheepish Girl - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
Written by Meredith, a yarn lover from Dallas, TX, One Sheepish Girl explores Helen’s most recent projects – whether it’s embroidering in her journal or trying out a new recipe – along with a collection of fun knitting and crochet projects you can make yourself.
Homemade Cookie Recipe - Intensely Chocolate Sables Recipe via Smitten Kitchen - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
The blog: Smitten Kitchen / The project: Intensely Chocolate Sables

Written by New Yorker, Deb, who is also cook, photographer and occasional dishwasher has received numerous awards and press for Smitten Kitchen where she shares her love of food and the recipes she’s tried, improved upon and created. She’s big on comfort foods stepped up a bit – like bread and birthday cakes made entirely from scratch – and shares not only recipes but also tutorials on everything from how to poach an egg to how to make tart doughs that won’t shrink up on you. She’s wary of excessively fussy foods and pretentious ingredients.

DIY Craft Project - Mario Inspired Handmade Rainbow Road Coffee Cuff via Wild Olive - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
The blog: Wild Olive / The project: Rainbow Road Coffee Cuff
Written by Mollie, a 30-something crafter and illustrator of cute things, Wild Olive contains a collection of handmade crafts and cuteness. While her most recent craft tutorials were themed around Mario Week, her posts are often filled with craft projects, patterns and printables you can download for free and use in your own projects.

Homemade Popsicles Recipe - Star Fruit Popsicles Recipe with Printable Flags via Funky TIme - DIY Craft Blog Round Up
Written by Sibylle, a freelance graphic designer and blogger, FunkyTime was declared one of the twelve most creative blogs on the internet in one of Germany’s most popular women’s magazines. Her work is featured in two books, “The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home” by the HGTV host Kelly Edwards (available May 1st, 2013) and “Mod Podge Rocks! Decoupage your World” by Amy Anderson. Funky Time includes Sibylle’s own budget friendly DIY projects and decorating ideas, free printables and her online magazine, Funkytime Magazine – seasonal home and lifestyle magazine featuring articles on food, design, fashion & DIY projects.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

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Tied Up in a Bow – The Prettiest DIY Gift Wrap Ideas for the Holidays

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DIY Christmas gift toppers, ribbons and wraps. Handmade gift tags, gift wrap and printables. Pretty packaging ideas for all of your holiday gifts.
Pretty Package and Gift Toppers, Ribbons and Wrap DIY's - DIY Homemade Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas
Pretty DIY Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas

Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.